Studer Group: More than half of physicians feel leaders don't do enough to combat burnout

Burnout could significantly add to the strain of the national physician shortage, according to results from a Studer Group survey.

Of more than 350 practicing physician respondents, 90 percent have experienced symptoms of burnout at some point in their career. Of those who have experienced burnout, 65 percent said they even have considered leaving medicine because of it.

"There's no question that burnout among physicians is high and rising, which is not only bad for physicians and their families, but it's bad for patients too," Studer Group Executive Medical Director, Rob Schreiner, MD, said in a press release.  "Studer Group is working hard to reverse that national trend by diagnosing and treating root causes, and helping our partner organizations deploy changes in physician workflow and culture that prevent physician burnout."

Physicians reported the top factors contributing to their burnout were psychological stressors, such as too much change too fast and feelings of disconnection from patients and community; the healthcare environment and practical hurdles, like staffing and patient access.

Those who are most frequently affected by burnout have about 10 to 20 years of experience, according to the survey. Yet among all physicians, 66 percent feel they do not have the tools or resources they need to combat burnout. Moreover, 54 percent feel their leadership does not do enough to help prevent burnout.

According to the survey, physicians would like leadership to give them a greater say in operational decisions, more leadership opportunities and access to resources and education on burnout. Physicians also felt having adequate post-call recovery time and vacation time, realistic scheduling and an appropriate balance of quality over productivity would help prevent feelings of burnout, according to the survey.

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